LONDON -- Lotus has incorporated the wishes of U.S. sports car buyers into its new Emira to boost sales in a key market for the coupe.
The UK sports-car maker is targeting overall annual sales of 5,000 vehicles under its revival plan, and it wants a third of that volume to come from the U.S.
The focus on North America was partly responsible for making the Emira more user-friendly compared with the three sports cars it will replace -- the Evora, Exige and Elise -- in Lotus's lineup.
"The U.S. is biggest sports car market in the world," said Simon Clare, head of marketing for Lotus, at the launch of the Emira on Tuesday. "You would be crazy not to look at that market, and there you are looking at different competitors."
Currently the U.S. and Canada accounts for about 15 percent of Lotus's 1,600 annual volume. The company wants to boost that to a third of the Emira's target, meaning North America could deliver 1,600 sales.
Clare cited the base-spec Chevrolet Corvette as one rival for the Emira, along with European competition such as the Jaguar F-type, Porsche Cayman and BMW Z4.